EMU hires Mike Yoder as new golf coach

emu sportsEastern Mennonite University has announced that Mike Yoder has been hired as the new head golf coach. He begins his role of leading the men’s and women’s programs immediately.

“I’m excited to be part of a university and athletic department that are committed to the value of athletics,” Yoder said. “The challenges athletes encounter in collegiate athletics are invaluable experiences. Helping mentor athletes in this way is very exciting.”

Yoder was recently the athletic director at Lancaster Mennonite High School in Lancaster, Pa., a role he filled for nine years. He also has a combined ten years of experience of coaching baseball and softball, as well as an assistant coach for golf.

Director of Athletics Dave King, who himself was the athletics director at LMS before Yoder, said this is a great move for EMU’s golf program.

“I am very excited about having Mike join our staff,” explained King. “His teaching, coaching and administrative experiences along with his passion for EMU and his enthusiasm to engage the collegiate community have all been great preparation for his work in building the golf program.”

Yoder takes over for Wendell Eberly, who resigned earlier this summer after starting the EMU golf teams in the 2012-13 academic year. With only one senior on the roster, the men’s team broke the program low round record three times this past year, before notching their lowest team score ever at the ODAC Championships.

Yoder is enticed by the challenge of taking the EMU programs to the next level.

“With several returning players, we will be looking to build on their experiences for leadership to create a tradition of success, both for the men’s and women’s programs,” he said. “I’m appreciative of the work Wendell did in the past and look to build and expand the team in the future.”

With nearly a decade of experience in both coaching and sports administration, King said Yoder helps the Royals in multiple ways.

“Having the opportunity to observe Mike in his teaching, coaching and administrative roles, I am confident that he can create a program that will bring out the best in current players and be attractive to recruits,” said King. “Mike also brings skills and experiences that can benefit the athletic department as we continue to grow.”

A 1993 alumnus of Eastern Mennonite, Yoder played baseball for the Royals and graduated with degrees in both Elementary Education and Secondary Education (History Social Science), as well as a masters of education (sport management) from Millersville University. He relishes the chance to give back to his alma mater.

“It’s good to return to the EMU community that helped prepare me for vocation in educational settings,” Yoder explained. “I’ve stayed connected with many who work at EMU over the years and am excited to jump in and be part of it. I’ve always felt that one of the strongest attributes of EMU over the years is the people who work here. It made my experiences as a student positive and I hope I can do the same for others.”

EMU’s golf teams start their fifth season in a few weeks, with the ODAC Championships set for April 22-25 next spring. The men have five tournaments slated for the fall season, starting with the Tom Kinder Memorial at Lakeview Golf Course in Harrisonburg on Sept. 12 and 13. The women’s schedule will be released soon.

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